Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Computational Game Creativity

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Institute of Digital Games

DESCRIPTION Computational game creativity covers the different creative facets of games (visuals, audio, narrative, game design, level design and gameplay) and attempts to automate one or more of these facets. Autonomous or semi-autonomous computational creators can alleviate the authorial burden of games during development, can lead to interesting and unexpected gameplay experiences and can provide insights on the nature of human creativity. Computational game creativity is positioned at the intersection of developing fields within games research, such as procedural content generation and AI-assisted design, and long-studied fields, such as visual art and narrative.

The study-unit includes a study of the different game facets from the perspective of human authors, presents the state-of-the art in procedural content generation within games, and connects them to instances of computational or mixed-initiative creativity outside of games (e.g. parametric design in architecture, generative art, procedural audio).

The study-unit will cover the following topics:

- Theories on human and computational creativity;
- Creative facets of games, from a human and computational creativity perspective (visuals, audio, narrative, level design, game design, gameplay);
- Human-computer co-creativity and assisted design;
- Multi-facet creativity, in games and beyond.

Study-Unit Aims:

The aims of the unit are as follows:
- Identify and formalize the creative facets of games;
- Survey the progress of algorithmic and parametric generation, within games and beyond;
- Introduction to techniques for creating algorithms for the generation of one or more facets of games.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify creative facets of games and describe them as computational models;
- Theorize on the nature of human and machine creativity, and how they intersect;
- Describe and theorize on the algorithms and domains covered in class.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Critically analyze how human creativity affects the creative facets of games;
- Evaluate how computer-generated content affects the game it is used on;
- Theorize, describe and implement algorithms able to autonomously create game content.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- "Procedural Content Generation in Games: A textbook and an overview of current research." N. Shaker, J. Togelius, M. J. Nelson.
(Available online at )
- "Computational Game Creativity" A. Liapis, G. N. Yannakakis, J. Togelius.
(Available online at
- "Evolutionary Visual Art and Design" M. Lewis.
(Available online at
- "Open problems in Evolutionary Music and Art" J. McCormack.
(Available online at
- "Narrative Intelligence" M. Mateas, P. Sengers.
(Available online at

More articles will be available online during the course of the study-unit.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: Good knowledge of digital prototyping tools. Object-oriented programming knowledge is desirable.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Group Learning, Ind Study, Lect, Proj & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (10 Minutes) SEM2 Yes 10%
Oral Examination (20 Minutes) SEM2 Yes 40%
Report SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Antonios Liapis

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.